A friend of mine asked me the other day if we had any regrets about purchasing our cabin last summer. The discussion revolved around the size, the restrictions on use, and the idea of the being permanently anchored to one place for vacation.
There are four of us using under 300 square feet. As you can imagine, it is a bit crowded with three beds, four people, and two dogs.
Instead of planning any addition, we are working at adding some outside space. The gazebo will feature two resin Adirondack and two Cape Cod chairs along with a small coffee table. The cabin isnâ€™t insulated which means that it gets pretty warm in the summer. We added a dual action window fan which makes a big difference in cooling down the cabin at night but the gazebo is where we plan to spend our evenings.
For the mornings, we are adding a small patio in the front. We had talked about building a full deck but we settled on paving blocks. The patio wonâ€™t be any larger than enough space to put a bistro table and two chairs out front. I know that doesnâ€™t leave Oliver and Mark with a chair but we wonâ€™t worry about that until they star drinking tea and coffee to start out their morning. Plus, it may not be the worse thing to have a portion of the property that is for adults, at least for part of the day.
During the dry summer months, Mark crashes outside in his three person tent where he seems happy. Of course once he gets too much older and his feet hang out of the end. When that happens we will either explore the idea of adding an out building, putting up a Boler or a tent trailer, or just getting a bigger tent.
Some have asked if the four of us could live up there and with some interior renovations we could in that amount of space. We have talked about adding a loft and with one it would work okay. It would necessitate a much simpler lifestyle but as many have shown, it is possible to live in something smaller than a McMansion.
Restrictions on Use
One of the conditions on the lease is that it is alcohol free. I donâ€™t really have a problem with that. Arlington Beach was originally a Free Methodist camp and it is a part of the holiness movement heritage. Wendy and I very rarely consume anything alcoholic and so to be alcohol free is no big deal. The upside of this is that I donâ€™t have to worry about Mark getting into any alcohol or getting harassed by some drunk while he is walking to the washroom. While people are up late sitting around a bonfire or drinking coffee, it is a different kind of noise that you get when the booze is flowing freely. The only impact it has is on my plans for beer can chicken at the lake. Of course I have been told by several beer drinkers that one should never waste a beer on a chicken and one can get the same impact from alcohol free beer or even water in a can.
Attached to one place
I love to travel with the family so I thought this would really bother me but it hasnâ€™t. The ability to get away to another place is a big plus for us. We had talked about buying a Boler, small RV, or just tenting equipment before we got this but in the end, this was the right investment for us (I am not a big fan of tenting and I am not sure the idea of a Boler and a campground was going to work either). We are still planning to get away to Victoria in the fall but it does give us a place to spend our vacation time this summer without worrying about expenses. It also serves a base to attend Saskatchewan Roughriders games with it only being an hour away from
Taylor FieldMosaic Stadium at Taylor Field. As I mentioned Regina is an hour away and the drive to Moose Jaw through the Quâ€™Appelle Valley is stunning. If you havenâ€™t seen the book Scenic Saskatchewan Drives, it offers several amazing day trips around Saskatchewan and many of them are easily accessible from the cabin.
So a year later and I donâ€™t have a lot of regrets in making the investment. The cabin is pretty modest and it fit our budget. It was recently appraised at being worth $2,000 by the local R.M. and even with having a large lot, it is worth well under $5,000 which is many times more money than we paid for it.
While last year it felt like we were still heading to a vacation property, this year it has become more like home. The paint is ours, Mark has his own bed, the other beds and kitchen have been upgraded and improved. While not quite the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts or the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, it is ours and for right now, itâ€™s a pretty good fit for the family.